Geoff Stecyk, Chief Operating Officer, RAKBANK
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The new normal has promoted an astounding development of the UAE’s digital footprint through work-from-home solutions and a technological shift that enabled businesses to move their operations online.

Driven by the need for digital and cashless payment solutions, RAKBANK is one of the first banks to have undergone a digital transformation that enhanced its banking services. From contactless payments to instant remittances, innovation is aligned with our diversification and cost-optimisation strategy. For us, digital solutions are among the primary focus areas, offering customers secure banking services.

However, one of the downsides of this massive shift to online was the surge in cybercrime rates. The hike in unemployment and online activities attracted cybercriminals who are always quick to take advantage of such situations. A rise in cyber frauds targeting customers through phishing, vishing and SMShing was noted.

Social media chat features and email campaigns impersonating well-known entities such as the World Health Organisation have been used creatively to target customers and get them to click on a link or open an attachment containing malware. Novel methods were adopted to deceive customers including fake websites, lottery scams or transaction frauds such as SIM-swaps. This included sending misleading emails requesting money transfers, including ransomware and crypto-miner attacks on businesses.

Fortunately these ploys can be avoided through adopting security measures such as only using your personal devices (phones, tablets and PCs), routinely updating them and applying patches, investing in a paid antivirus subscription and regularly updating virus definition, being suspicious of emails containing links and attachments that claim to be from their bank or a government body and always navigating to the website by typing the URL in the browser.

We recommend backing up business and personal data regularly to be able to restore it in case of ransomware infection and to regularly monitor bank statements and SMS/email alerts for any suspicious transactions. Furthermore, most websites offer a two-factor-authentication option that we advise enabling. Be wary of public WiFi and protect your home WiFi network with WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) and lastly limit the amount of information you post online as it can be used against you.

10 things to keep in mind
1. Use different passwords across your bank accounts and other websites.
2. Keep your computer and mobile devices updated with latest patches.
3. Fraudsters can use many channels such as email, chat, messenger services, SMS& phone calls to ask for your details.
4. Most email and social media sites allow the use of two factor authentication, enable this option.
5. Invest in a good antivirus solution.
6. A password that is easy to remember can also be guessed easily by attackers.
7. Secure your home Wi-Fi network and avoid free Wi-Fi services (such as coffee shops) for banking online.
8. Report any suspicious activity to your bank or law enforcement.
9. Limit the amount of information about yourself that you post on social media sites.
10. Back up your important data regularly.